AGRR Magazine


The second annual AGRSS Conference got underway this morning at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas with two sessions on AGRSS registered companies' available programs and services.

In the first session, Gary Hart, president and CEO of eDirectGlass, Mark Haeck, sales manager, Mainstreet Computer, and John Trigardi, co-owner of After Market Autosystems.

Software technology was the subject of Hart and Haeck. Hart pointed out that for electronic work there is no industry standard. All the suppliers have their own standards and technology. Haeck discussed some of the ways his company's software is being used for implementing the AGRSS Standard. He pointed out that there is no bar code standard for the industry.

Trigardi spoke about add-on service and profit opportunities for ARG retailers, specifically diagnostic and repair services for water, dust, and wind leaks. The service was being introduced here at the conference. He said that this is an untouched market that fits with ARG and can be done at the ARG shop's location. His company provides a software database program for performing these services. "It is a pure consumer sale," he stated.

In the follow-up session, Chris Umble, LYNX Services, and Dave Zoldowski, president of the Independent Glass Association (IGA), discussed how their organizations are branding AGRSS.

Zoldowski's presentation focused on the Internet based directory IGA has which is designed to serve as a job referral network for independent shops. It is partnering with AGRSS to promote AGRSS registration on the site, He said that the plan is to have the AGRSS logo on the Web site with the listings.

He stressed that shops which are not active on the Internet will quietly fall to Internet competition. "Customers looking for glass repair shops on-line has grown 800 percent in the last five years," he stated. "This site is the only one designed to serve the independent allowing the shop to set its own price," he added.

Zoldowski said that IGA has taken the figure of 20,000 glass shops and started a telemarketing program the first of July. It has completed over 13,000 calls to verify that these shops exist, and it predicts that when the project is done there will be 7,500 to 8,000 shops.

Umble's topic was his company's METRYX industry services registry. He started by saying that as he looks at the attendees he feels like he is preaching to the choir and is frustrated that the companies which are not METRYX registered are not hearing the message on how the service is designed to help create value. "The AGRSS Standard has to become the standard for the industry," he stated. "We have tried to take a pro-active role in promoting AGRSS registration and its value for businesses and for consumers," he added. "I think there are a lot of us who would like to see companies like State Farm make AGRSS registration mandatory."

He said that the registry has 10,560 companies registered to date, with 38,398 defined service centers/areas and 43,690 ZIP codes covered. There are 31,275 registered technicians and 25,028 registered service vehicles. METRYX is now in the process of validating this information and AGRSS has been the group most helpful and active in validating its information for those shops which have registered.

The question came from the floor that there are 38,398 defined service centers/areas and only 31,275 registered technicians. Umble said that it is a discrepancy and the purpose of the validation process is to find phantom locations. He also added that it is a year away from completing the validation process, because there have been problems getting verification from some sources.

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